An interview is a two way street. During your job interview you will be asked if you have any questions. Many job seekers focus extra hard on answering the interview questions well they often forget they are there to ask questions too. This is a great opportunity for candidates to find out more about the company and the job they are applying for to make sure it’s going to be a perfect match. You are interviewing the employer just as much as the employer is interviewing you. This is your time to find out if this is a company where you want to work.
Asking thought-provoking questions will give you the opportunity to reference some of your qualities, skills and experiences. It is important to be very specific in the questions you ask. This also gives you the opportunity to impress your potential employer with your knowledge and interest in the industry and also the chance to determine if this is the right job for you.
When asking the interviewer questions, there are three things you want to achieve: make sure the interviewer has no reservations about you, demonstrate your interest in the employer and find out if you feel the employer is the right fit for you. You should aim to prepare five questions for each interview and ask three of them, always prepare more as some of the questions you have prepared may get answered throughout the interview.
1. What Have You Enjoyed Most About Working Here?
If the interviewer struggles to come up with an answer to this question then this is immediately a red flag. This question allows the interviewer to connect with you on a more personal level and share their feelings with you. This answer will also give you a unique insight into how satisfied people are with their job. Your prospective employer can relay what they value most and what even led to their own personal success within the company. This is a way to consider whether you share similar values and can envisage yourself working there.
2. What Skills and Experiences Would Make an Ideal Candidate?
This open-ended question will have the interviewer put his or her cards on the table and state exactly what the employer is searching for. If the interviewer raises something you may not have mentioned, this is now your chance. For instance, if you are told you need to have excellent people skills and highly organised, you should them emphasise how you have demonstrated these traits in your previous career.
3. What Constitutes Success at This Position and This Company?
This question highlights your interest in being successful, and the answer will show how to get ahead and also whether it is a good fit and fits in with your expectations. Knowing how the company measures achievements will help you to understand what the expectations will be and whether you have the correct skill set to meet them. Even if your past experience does not match up with the ones of the potential employer, do not undermine your past accomplishments.
4. Do You Offer Continuing Education and Professional Training?
This is a great way to position yourself and show your interest in expanding your knowledge and to show you are looking to growing with the employer and company.
5. Can You Tell Me About The Team I Will Be Working With?
This question is all about the way it is presented, it assumes you will get the job. However, it will also give you great insight about the people you will be working closely with and spending time with on a daily basis, so make sure you listen to the answer closely.
6. What Can You Tell Me About Your Plans For Growth or New Products?
Ensure you tailor this particular question to your particular needs. Do your research on the employer’s website before hand and try and mention a new product or service the company is launching to display your research and interest. The answer to this question will also give you a good indication as to where the company is heading.
7. Who Held This Position Previously?
This simple question is a great way to find out whether this person was promoted, fired, quit or they retired. This also provides a clue to whether there is an opportunity for advancement, employees are dissatisfied, or the business is in chaos etc. This is a great way to know any problems or past history associated with this position. The answer will tell you about management’s expectations and how the company is planning to grow.
8. What Is The Top Priority For The Next Person in This Position Over The Next Three Months?
This is an extremely helpful question and allows you to know what to focus on if you do get this position. Without clear expectations, you will not know what to accomplish or how to make the right impression when you start your first day of work.
9. What Are Some Challenges That Will Face The Person Filling This Position?
Although many may shy away from this question, you owe it to yourself to understand the potential struggles and exactly what you are up against. The potential drawbacks may differ depending on whether the position is managerial or entry-level. As a manager, you may oversee a department that is on a strict, tight budget. As entry-level you could face working odd hours or stuck with assignments that become a little repetitive. If the interviewer denies there is any downside whatsoever, this should raise doubts about their credibility.
10. Do You Have Any Worries About My Qualifications?
Asking a question like this lets the interviewer know you’re secure in your own qualifications and also secure enough to openly discuss your vulnerabilities. Rather than skimming over your shortcomings, address them and put up a respectful and reasonable defence, but also highlight your desire to want to improve. It also exhibits your confidence and the ability to be coached. Coachability is a highly attractive attribute.
11. What Is The Next Step In The Process?
This is your closing and a great final question. As a candidate you should be interested to know what happens after this point. It shows that you are eager to keep moving along in the process and invited the interviewer to potentially tell you how many people are in the running for the position.
As a potential candidate, the key to a great interview is for you to find out as much as you can about your potential employer. Asking these 11 questions will not only make you appear more committed as a candidate, it will also give you a better insight into both the challenges and opportunities that may lie ahead of you.
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